Claiborne, Grainger and Hamblen counties are the three Lakeway Area counties to be declared as primary natural disaster areas due to excessive rain and flooding that occurred from Aug. 1, 2018 through March 5, 2019. Farm producers in these areas may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency emergency loans.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue designated nine Tennessee counties as primary natural disaster areas. Other affected counties are Giles, Lake, Lincoln, Montgomery, Shelby and Tipton.

This natural disaster designation allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

Other Lakeway Area counties eligible to apply for loans include Cocke, Greene, Hawkins and Jefferson counties. Deadline to apply for these emergency loans is April 1, 2020.

FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at farmers.gov/recover.